Reagents for Desulphurization of Hot Metal...

Reagents for Desulphurization of Hot Metal Sulphur (S), present in solid steel as iron sulphide (FeS) inclusions, has several detrimental effects on steel processing and on steel’s physical properties. During deformation, the iron sulphide inclusions act as crack initiation sites and zones of weakness. Such inclusions from sulphur adversely affect steel’s toughness, ductility, formability, weldability, and corrosion resistance. An increase in manganese (Mn) however, helps prevent formation of iron sulphide, which is highly detrimental to steel’s hot workability and also leads to severe cracking. Sulphur is such an undesirable element in steel that its removal is desired. The ever increasing requirements to steel properties and the growing demand for steel qualities and quantities with lowest sulphur contents of down to 0.001 %, has made it necessary for the steel makers to carry out the desulphurization of hot metal. Presently hot metal is regularly being desulphurized to below 100 ppm, and in some steel plants, to 10 ppm. Besides the increased requirements of steel quality, other reasons which necessitate desulphurization of hot metal are reduced scrap quality and increasing cost of high quality iron ores. In the desulphurization process, powdered desulphurization reagents are injected into the hot metal through an immersed lance using an inert carrier gas such as argon or nitrogen, as shown in Fig 1. Since desulphurization is a diffusion-controlled reaction, and related to the reactive surface area available for reaction, the desulphurization reagents are to be as fine grained as possible. However, flowability is reduced with very fine grains and hence it is necessary to find an optimum between efficiency and conveying ability. In order to obtain good flow characteristics, normally a fluxing agent is added during the grinding operation, so that pneumatic transport during injection does not pose any problems. Fig...